Print and make PDFs using Sibelius’s view options


Sibelius offers you a number of ways to mark up your score, whether you’re making a note of something for your own use or collaborating with others. These options are found in the Review tab and include the ability to highlight passages of your music, make comments, and, in Sibelius 8, draw freehand annotations.

Some users may never use these features, while for others they are a vital part of the workflow. (See Ed Hirschman’s post from last year, which explains his Turbo Comment plug-in, for an impressive use of the commenting feature.)

The features make it easy to show others your work — assuming, that is, that your collaborators are using Sibelius. However, what if you’ve meticulously marked up your score and want to share a printed copy or PDF with someone who doesn’t use Sibelius?

The secret is to check View options when printing. You’ll find this checkbox at the end of a long list of options under File > Print. (PC users will also see a Print in color checkbox.)


You’ll have to carefully manage which of the view options you actually want to print; if this box is checked, Sibelius will print everything that’s viewable. So if you want to display comments, highlights, and annotations but not layout marks or other items, you’ll want to check only those boxes in View > Invisibles before moving on to the print menu.


But that’s only half the story; what if you’re not printing a hard copy, but making a PDF to share? Sibelius doesn’t offer such options with it’s built-in File > Export > PDF capability.

Instead, you’ll want to use the same Print menu as before.

On a Mac: For Mac users, instead of clicking the big Print button, though, click the Use OS Dialog button at the very bottom of the screen instead.


This will kick you out to the Mac print dialog. Then, click PDF and then Save as PDF:


On a PC: Windows 10 finally introduced native support for printing directly to PDF. To do so, in the Sibelius Print menu, choose Microsoft Print to PDF, then click the Print button:


Users of earlier Windows systems might use CutePDF or another PDF creator.

Once you’re at this stage on either Mac or PC, you’ll be prompted to choose the location on your computer where the PDF file is to be saved.

This came in very handy during a recent project I was working on — an orchestrated version of the full ballet to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, including the sections omitted from the familiar suite (available in 2016). New music was highlighted in brown, existing music that needed to be transposed or otherwise reviewed was highlighted in green, and comments were littered throughout for my collaborators to review:


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